This is my first time writing for the 500 club and I can see I am going to enjoy the weekly challenges. This week’s prompting is to: Write a story using “[CHARACTER NAME] never liked the color red” as the first sentence.
Heather never liked the color red. It is the very antithesis of her. She liked to take life slow and easy and cheaply. Red, it seemed, was not only hot but expensive. It had cost her more in life than she had been willing to pay or could afford, but red does not care, it merely incited and excited all that was in its presence.
As she stood in front of the full length mirror admiring the help that the other novillero’s where giving her. It took three of them to help her into the traditional knee-long trousers and the pink knee-length socks. The anticipation slowly building in her, Heather was awash with glee. Nothing else mattered at this moment. As her golden capa de brega was placed around her shoulders, Heather felt self-important. For the past few days she experienced what it was like to be royalty. As she slowly turned around to her the praises of her friends, she noticed the bright new and emphatically red Muleta laid across her chair. In a flash her spirits sank and she was just human again.
Following the novillero’s into the Plaza de las Ventas to partake in the alternativa and be confirmed as a Matador, her legs froze. For the first time in her life, Heather knew fear. The kind of paralyzing fear that makes you stay in bed and hide. As she looked around and took in the crowd, time slowed. Every breathe was laborious and her chest heaved noticeably. As the crowd’s cheers grew thunderous, she barely noticed.
Today was her day but not her day. Her mind had transported her back three years previous. The sun was high in the Spain sky with a few clouds breaking the blue into more manageable pieces. The day was almost exactly as she remembered and tried to forget. Unimaginable horrors would confront her that perfect Sunday in July. For it was the day that would change an innocent little girl into a warrior.
Pedro Gonzales walked to center court amass the throng of 25,000 spectators, he was happy, as happy as he had ever been in his life. Today his financial future would be decided and his family would be secure. No more begging for work, no more listening to American tourists with their bad Spanish ordering him around. Today he would be born again into a higher station of Life. All that stood in his way was a five year old bull named Fuego del infierno (Fire of Hell) and two hours.
As Heather watched on in horror, Pedro tripped while following through on a routine manuevor and Fuego del Infierno gouged Pedro through the heart. Heather screamed and rushed to her brothers side. As he lay dying in her arms all she could see was the red. The red of his blood spilling out, the red of his cape laying next to him and the red of anger welling up inside of her. At That moment she vowed to avenge her brother and make his death meaningful.
Three years later in the same exact place Heather was standing tall sword in hand and the red cape of her brother in the other hand. Before her locked behind a wooden gate was her freedom, her redemption, her life’s pledge. Latches were released and the gate swung open. At only fours years old the bull was an impressive size and his eyes blazed red. The son of Fuego charged full on at Heather like he was as his name suggested Hell spawn. Heather planted her feet and like so many before her, prepared to do battle. Today was not for the crowd, not for her, but for her brother.